How to Groom Your Cat (Lion Cut)




If your cat has a problem with shedding, matting, or hot weather then you may want to consider giving your cat the lion cut. The lion cut is a type of hair cut where your cat's coat is shaved with the exception of the face, mane, legs, and tip of tail. This type of hair cut is very commonly used for Himalayans and Persians. But owners with any breed of long haired cat can give their little beast the lion cut. Good hygiene is important for long hair breeds especially with regards to hairball prevention. Most professionals suggest brushing your long haired cat once a day. If this is something you know you won't be able to fit into your daily routine you should probably start shaving your cat. In addition,grooming can be rather costly, you will save a lot of money grooming your cat at home. I used to spend seventy five dollars every 4 months to have my cat groomed. This might not sound like a lot, but trust me it adds up. When you first start grooming your cat at home it will take you at least two-three hours. But as you and your cat become more comfortable with this process the time will decrease to around an hour.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

To groom your long haired cat you will need the following:

A second person to hold/restrain your feline friend

Trimmers along with attachments

Pet brush/comb

Nail clippers

Towels or rags

Cat treats

*if your cat has greasy patches or matted clumps you may additionally need:

Corn starch

Blunt-ended scissors

Step 2: Select a Location for Grooming

It has been my experience that grooming usually works best in an uncarpeted room. Trying to remove large amounts of cat hair from carpet with a normal vacuum cleaner is a huge pain, not to mention it will clog up your vacuum.I would also suggest grooming your cat on a counter or table. Your cat may not enjoy the elevation but it will make the entire process much easier. I usually groom my little fur ball on the kitchen table.

Step 3: Set Up Your Area

1) Cover the counter or table with a couple of old towels or rags.

This will add some cushioning, making it more comfortable for your cat. It was also help protect your table from cat scratches.

2) Find the closest outlet and plug in your trimmers.

You will also need to make sure your trimmers once plugged in can reach the table with enough extra slack to maneuver around while grooming.

Step 4: Bring Your Cat to the Grooming Area

Before grooming begins I like to give my cat a couple of treats while she is on the table and pet her for a few minutes. This helps to calm her nerves and give me a chase to run my hands along her coat to check for any clumps or greasy areas.

Step 5: Clip Your Cat's Nails

1) Hold a paw in one hand and press gently on a toe pad to extend a claw.

2) Clip only the sharp tips to avoid cutting the quick (epithelial tissue that protects the nail bed). If your cat has colored nails you may not be able to see the quick.

Note: If you are uncomfortable with clipping your cats nails wait and have a professional groomer or veterinarian saw you.

Warning: Making a mistake and cutting a nail to short can be very painful for your cat and cause damage to the quick.

Tip: Personally, I prefer to clip my cat’s nails a day or two before I groom her. If I try to clip her nails and groom her all in one go she gets too stressed.

Step 6: Brush Your Cat

1) Brush your cat’s mane, back and tummy with a large pin brush (also called a slicker brush).

Note: you will probably need someone to gently hold/restrain your cat while you brush the tummy area.

2) Brush your cat’s legs and tail with a wide toothed comb.

Note: the following minor steps are only necessary if your cat has clumped or greasy hair

3) Remove matted clumps by holding on to the clump at the base near the skin and brushing through it with the pin brush. (Holding the clumped hair at the base will help from tugging on the skin which can be painful for your cat). It may take several minutes to break up the matted clump with the brush.

Note: if you cannot brush the clump out, you can use a blunt-ended pair of scissors to remove it.

Warning: you must make sure no skin is caught up within the clump before you cut it out. Cats have very thin skin and can easily hurt if you clip their skin.

4) Rub a small nickle size amount of corn starch into a greasy area on your cats coat and comb the corn starch out. This will dry out the hair.

Step 7: Shave Your Cat

Note: If you want the hair to be slightly longer, shave with the direction of the outgoing hair. If you want the hair to be shorter shave against the outgrowing hair.

1) Shave Up the back and sides of your cat. Glide the clippers in a straight line up your cats back.

Warning: Never let the clippers tough the cats skin. This could injury your cat.

2) After each shaving stroke, wipe the shaved hair off of the clips.

3) Periodically stop to brush and pick up shaved hair off your cat. This will make it easier to see if you missed any spots.

4) After you have shaved your cats back and sides, lay the cat on it's side and comb the hair away from each teat

5) While someone is assisting you by restraining your cat, carefully shave around each teat and the rest of the tummy area.

6) Shave up the tail leaving only the hair on the last quarter of the tail.

Note: Not all cats like having their tails trimmed. I have shaved my cats tail twice and both times she seemed less than pleased with it. If you find that your cat dislikes having it's tail trimmed you can leave the tail hair in-tacked.

Step 8: Blend the Mane to the Body

1) Clip the #2 attachment on to the head of your trimmers.

2) Backcomb your cat's mane.

3) Shave up the mane to the top of the neck on all sides.

4) with a slightly damp rag wipe off shaved hair

Step 9: Grooming Is Done, Time to Give Your Cat a Treat

Congratulations! you have successfully finished shaving your cat. It is important to reward your cat with affection and treats after grooming. However, cats that are new to grooming may want to skip the petting and treats part to go hide for awhile. This is normal and after a few grooming experiences will change.

While you may feel like this was a huge challenge and something you would rather pay a professional to do, it gets a little easier each time. It is also much less stressful for your cat to be groomed by you at home than to have to endure a car ride to an unfamiliar place, while a stranger man handles them. I have been shaving my cat myself for the past two years. When I first started in would take me over two hours to groom her. Now I can do it in an hour flat. I hope that this instructable has helped you with learning how to properly groom your cat and that it will assist you with managing your cats hygiene regiment.



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    26 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Can you do this to a short hair cats? My short hair cat has OCD and cleans so much that he loses a lot of hair and I want to shave him to see if it helps.


    2 years ago

    we took our cat buddy to the vet today to have him shaved because of mats we brush him every day but in the morning he still gets mats over night and will. not let us touch his tummy .The vet had no luck. We will have to put him under.


    2 years ago

    I heard a great tip. Wrap each paw with Coflex tape, the tape they use to wrap your arm when you give blood. There is no stickum but it sticks to itself. That said, when my wife saw how I was cutting off my cats hair she started to cry..... not tears of joy. Guess I should have gotten permission.


    3 years ago

    My cat, Toby, LOVES to be shaved. Even though I brush him once a day, his fur still mats. I think it's because his undercoat is super fine and thick. It grows really long too. So put a guard on that only lets it cut a certain length. He purrs the whole time. I sure lucked out with him!


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Ah yes, after I did such a procedure of my cat. She sold my soul to the demon of the feline underworld. (And I got multiple scratches here and there)

    1 reply

    3 years ago on Introduction

    "Most professionals suggest brushing your long haired cat once a day. If this is something you know you won't be able to fit into your daily routine you should probably start shaving your cat." I'm sorry but if you don't have 5 minutes a day to bond with your cat every day, don't get a cat. Maine Coons also get this cut. Thanks for the great lesson but I am going to leave this to the professionals.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    My cat is a monster when it comes to being combed. I don't know why. Even as a kitten he hated being combed.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I wonder if height makes a difference. I would shave my cat in the bathroom since its the only room in the house that's not carpeted. But he struggles and swipes at me with every chance he gets. Thats when I shave him from the floor. I am thinking maybe thats when he gets a bit nervous or scared that way. If done on the table with a bit of distraction maybe my cat will be okay with it? Dunno


    3 years ago on Step 7

    I just did my Persian and only with scissors. I don't take it down to the skin. I just put my two fingers straight with my palm down on the cat and gently pull out the fur with the two fingers and clip just underneath my hand straight across, all over her except around her neck. I allow her to take breaks and eat, go outside, etc and wait until she COMES BACK TO ME TO GET GROOMED instead of holding her down, which is traumatic. She will even come back and lay on her back for me to do her tummy and around her arms. Then I give treats. Look on my facebook page for her pictures.


    4 years ago on Step 9

    You forgot to add the address of the nearest Emergency Room/A&E. ;-)

    I have a Ragdoll cat and she's Awesome!! I had her cut about 3 weeks ago and it's one of the best things that I've done!! She is one happy cat and so am !!!


    5 years ago

    looked like a beautiful cat before it was shaved, if people don't have time to groom certain types of pets they should pick a short haired breed in the first place

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    you obviously dont understand the logic behind shaving a long hair cat, since these cats live indoors their diet is based on wet or dry foods they dont nibble on outside grass, sticks and eat mice which makes hard for them to digest the hair they groom off while they lick their body, that hair gets stuck inside their intestines and causes a lot of pain and suffering for the cat, so in shaving them you are actually helping and relieving the cat from a lot of suffering.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    sometimes, doing something difficult that is best for the cat is necessary. It was suggested to me by someone I admire greatly that if one cannot do this with a beloved pet, then one should never, ever even consider having children.

    Yeah, i know. That suggestion pissed me off too. But in my case, me being upset didnt in any way lessen it's correctness. For some reason, reality doesn care at all if I'm offended by it.

    Great 'able. Very good point about the nail trimming. Also, would suggest not using the table if the cat has been trained to not be on thetable in the first place. Trimming on the kitchen or bathroom floor prevents this. Cats are creatures of consistancy, above all else, and trimming the cat on a forbidden table will.cause the cat orders of magnitude more anxiety.


    5 years ago

    I tried to bring my clippers to my cat and he flipped out. He's normally a calm cat. I rather send my cat to a cat groomer.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I used to take my old black longhaired best-buddy to a groomer for this in early summer time. The first time he seemed really embarrassed by the way he looked. Then he realized how much cooler he felt in the summer and that he wasn't having to swallow a bunch of hair when he groomed himself. PLus, all his hair mats were finnaly just gone! YIPPEE! What a relief! After that first time, he always strutted around after getting his lion cut every year.

    Unfortunately he died last July, so now I have another named Houdini. This will be his first time getting his lion cut. I think I will have a groomer do it this first time and then use your wonderful detailed instructions to try it myself next summer. After all, besides gtting a few scratches, buying all the tools needed just once will pay for itself by the next year and save me about $100 every year after that.

    Do you have any suggestions about maybe light kitty downers to help them relax and not be so freaked by the buzzing of the hair trimmer? - Catgyrl


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Cat dignity level: zero. Owner entertainment level: Over 9,00.

    Me likey.